Week Ending April 8, 2012. Songs: Newcomers Beat Superstars
Until about four months ago, relatively few pop fans had heard of fun., an indie pop group from New York City. More had heard of R&B singer Janelle Monae, who performed on the Grammys in February 2011, but most probably couldn't have named one of her songs. This week, these newcomers break a record previously held by two of the biggest superstars in pop music, Eminem and Rihanna. "We Are Young" becomes the first song in digital history to top 300K in weekly sales six times. The old record was held by "Love The Way You Lie," which topped 300K in weekly sales five times in the summer of 2010.
And "We Are Young" will probably extend its record. It sold 390K copies this week, its best showing to date. It may well top 300K for one to three more weeks.
"We Are Young" tops the 3 million mark in digital sales this week. This is the earliest in the year that a song has topped the 3 million mark in digital history. The previous record was set in 2009, when Flo Rida's "Right Round" topped the 3 million mark in the week ending April 26.
(The first song to sell 3 million copies in 2011 was "E.T." by Katy Perry featuring Kanye West, which achieved the feat in the week ending May 8. The first to do it in 2010 was Train's "Hey, Soul Sister," which scored in the week ending May 30. The first to do it in 2008 was Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love," which hit that mark in the week ending Aug. 17. Prior to 2008, no songs topped 3 million copies in a calendar year.)
"We Are Young" is #1 on all three of the subordinate charts that feed the Hot 100: Hot Digital Songs (for the seventh time in the past nine weeks), Hot 100 Airplay (up from #2 last week) and On-Demand Songs (it has been on top since the chart debuted four weeks ago).
"Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra jumps from #3 to #2. Like "We Are Young" it reached #1 on Billboard's Alternative chart. This marks the first time that the top two songs on the Hot 100 were both #1 (or even top 10) hits on the Alternative chart. That chart debuted in September 1988.
"Somebody That I Used To Know" logged five weeks at #1 in the U.K in February and March. Fully half of this week's top 10 songs have reached #1 in the U.K. The others are The Wanted's "Glad You Came," which was #1 in the U.K. for two weeks in July; One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful" (one week in September), Katy Perry's "Part Of Me" (one week in March) and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" (this week). The Wanted and One Direction are British, Perry is American, Gotye is Belgian (he was raised in Australia), Kimbra is New Zealander and Jepsen in Canadian.